Online Poker Comes to Canada

Online Poker Comes to Canada
Plans to introduce Canadians to online poker are underway in the province of Quebec and are scheduled to come about by September.

Quebec’s finance minister, Raymond Bechand announced during the week that the initial plans that will introduce online poker in the province have been finalised and will be put into action in order to allow Canadians to enjoy playing poker online legally. The move forms part of intentions by the province’s lottery operator Loto Quebec to offer online gambling services, starting with popular poker games and including sports betting.

Bechand has said that it is envisaged that the province will make in the region of $50 million over the initial three years that the service is in operation. However, it is also expected that Loto Quebec could earn a much larger portion of the Canadian online gambling market that is valued at around $675 million. Of this, online poker plays a significant role and is expected to grow as it has done elsewhere in the world.

Of course, not everyone share’s the minister’s enthusiasm about the move. The usual anti-gambling factions have been out and bemoaning their repetitive predictions of the numbers of problem gamblers increasing and the dangers that this move will expose to the very fabric of society. The lottery group have been quick to hit back by citing recent public health studies that support the view that by increasing the quantity of outlets for gambling does not proportionally increase the numbers of problem gamblers.

Further opposition has come from croupiers that work in Loto Quebec’s land based casinos. They argue that introducing legalised online poker will have a detrimental effect on existing casinos which are already struggling to compete with All Slots casino Canada. The 1200 strong union that represents croupiers fear that gambling may increase as a result of more online outlets. This is because croupiers are trained to identify problem gamblers they come across in the line of their work and assist them. Online, problem gamblers are far more difficult to identify.

Loto Quebec’s President and CEO, Alain Cousineau, has said that residents of Quebec already have easy access to a huge number of online casino and poker sites. By regulating these, it is possible to channel the way gaming is undertaken by customers in a controlled environment where integrity and fairness will be seen to be beyond reproach.

Some of the proposed measures that will be put into place include a requirement to be able to verify the age of a player, the ability to limit weekly funding of accounts and self-exclude themselves or users of their computers from a site if they feel it necessary.

New Online Poker Dealing System Launches in March
Having your online poker hands generated by a computer program could become a thing of the past with the launch of a new poker site.

Up until now, online poker hands have all been created and dealt by a computer program known as a random number generator, or RNG. In card games such as poker this would result in a fair and reliable means of generating virtual card decks and dealing fair hands to players. But players have voiced reservations about this method, often citing the fact that it can cause games to feel cold and clinical. But all that is about to change with the imminent launch of a very new kind of online poker room, scheduled for its grand opening next month.

RealDealPoker.com is a new and very innovative online poker site. Not only will it be making full use of the most up to the minute graphics and game play software, it will not be using a RNG to deal the cards. In place of the RNG will be a patented system known as Cut N’ Shuffle which was developed by the site’s owners, Gioia International, Ltd.

A physical machine is used to shuffle a real deck of cards that is in turn used to create digital and video output. The digital result of each shuffle is translated into a secure data file, which is used for each individual poker hand played on the site. To add to the realism of this system, for each hand the player holding the dealer button can chose where the digital deck is cut to determine where in the deck the deal will begin. For the verification of the accuracy of each digital shuffle, the video recording is available for auditors to inspect.

What this means in terms of playability and realism is that poker players will, to all intents and purposes, be playing with real cards shuffled, cut and dealt from a real deck.

As a way of generating some good press and to demonstrate the faith in their system, RealDealPoker.com will offer its players a 100:1 full guarantee. They will make provision for any player to request an audit independently on any hand they are not happy with for which they will charge a small fee. If anything irregular is discovered, all players in that hand will be completely refunded, while the player requesting the audit will receive a credit for 100 time the audit’s cost.

The website is active, but players will have to wait for the launch at the end of March to get some of the action and to see for themselves how well this system operates.